I've been up since 7 a.m., and this notion of blooming while wilting has been prevalent in my mind since Sunday. Heavily. It goes without saying that this past weekend was horrific in Charlottesville, VA. And in all honesty, I have avoided the news and engaging in internet discussions about it because I am tired. Exhausted. Burnt out. The political climate in this country is disgusting. How marginalized groups are treated is baffling. The fact that nothing can shift racism and all that comes with it is mind blowing to the 1000th degree. The list could go on. However, I am going to stop there. Why? Because I just can't. As a Woman of Color in America, my primary goal right now is keeping my joy blooming, not allowing anyone to blindside that, doing ground work in my community, creating safe spaces on and offline for people to build their safety nets and engage in conversations and actions that can impact change. In the face of adversity, we must bloom, even when we feel like wilting is the only thing we're being offered.
Lately, I have been getting quite a few questions about how one is supposed to maintain self-care in such an intense and emotional time. Well, for one, it's not an easy question to tackle being as though everyone is different. Personally, I have found that creating boundaries is the best way to practice self-care right now. For me that practice looks like logging off of social media, sleeping with my phone on airplane mood, not checking my phone the minute I wake up, avoiding certain news outlets, and engaging in conversations about what's going on in the world with people that make me feel safe. Being aware is vastly important but so is protecting the joy that we are working hard to cultivate on a daily basis. I think a big thing to remember is what's happening currently isn't new. It is, however, amplified because of social media. Everywhere we turn there is something or someone being completely hateful and ridiculous on the internet. Not only can those encounters distract us from the things that need our attention, it also can empty us in a way that's detrimental to our growth. Humans are sponges. What we absorb can have a lasting impact on our lives and well-being.
Other questions I get a lot: How can I help? How can I show up for my community? Naming and creating your activism is something only you can do. And with that said, I encourage you to be mindful of the spaces you decide to build and things you choose to engage in because intentionality is crucial. Specifically when it comes to topics like race, equality, gender, and politics. A way I like to step into my activism is not by only using my voice, but also by getting into the community. Encouraging conversations and connections outside of the internet, making space for people to not only share their views but build relationships with others who are alike and different. Donating to trusted non-profit organizations who give back to communities that are not immediately within my reach is another way that I like to show up during tumultuous times like these. There are plenty of moments where waves of hopelessness can overshadow the possibility of healing. Despite that being the case, standing tall in what we know and who we are is something that we have to trust.
Through it all, not misplacing your joy should be at the center of your being. Particularly in times like this. Yes, I know it's hard, there's a lot of noise happening. You may even feel guilty for it because social media will trick you into thinking that if you're not being vocal online then you must not care. Nonsense. To me, the best way you can show up for others is to be at peace with yourself and whatever it is that you've got going on. That has to be first. Take care of home base so that you can open it up to other people when they need it. Blooming during adversity isn't always simple, easy, or comfortable but it's a must to stay above water and ahead of the troubles that will arise in life.
Journal Question: How am I self-caring and showing up for myself + others with everything that's going on in the world?